In the digital age, top retailers are more aware than ever of the effect of rich and powerful digital experiences. Forrester estimates that ecommerce sales in the United States are on track to reach $523 billion by 2020, and as customers come to expect fresh and interactive content from their favorite brands, this number will just increase. Demandware and L2 industry experts explored four strategies that brands must prioritize to cut through the noise and deliver engaging digital experiences to their shoppers:
Video can be a powerful tool, but integrated poorly, it can actually hurt the customer journey by pulling the customer out of the buying process. L2 stresses that video content needs to live on or link back to a product page, allowing the customer to continue down the purchase path and hopefully add to cart. Video can be a costly investment, so retailers have to make every frame count.
UGC is most effective when it exists directly on the product page, encouraging the customer to buy by providing information from sources that they can trust: other customers. User-generated content assists brand marketers by allowing buyers to do the advertising for them.
Guided Selling Tools
Shoppable experiences are especially successful when they incorporate guided selling tools. This can include everything from a sophisticated product grid with interactive features to rich media content that provides upsells. What makes these tools powerful is their shoppability, allowing the customer to make their purchase as soon as they are inspired — without leaving the page. Retailers use these tools to guide customers to the best fit, the complete outfit, and to get them closer to their products.
Leveraging Rich, Shoppable Content
Integrating rich content into the customer journey prevents the dreaded ecommerce dead end, directly driving conversion rates and revenue. Valuable content should allow customers to explore the brand and products while they shop, instead of making them choose. This encourages the buy without forcing it, creating an organic path to purchase.
One brand providing an exemplary digital shopping experience is footwear retailer Aerosoles, as evidenced through its Spring 2017 Collection experience which features a visual and clickable buying guide to their seasonal offerings. With this campaign, Aerosoles has created a complete rich media experience that focuses on the customer through interactive, shoppable content.
The Spring Collection experience incorporates clickable video, GIFs and images to allow shoppers to interact with the content. Integrated quick views make purchases quick and easy and keep the customers on the page. With fun, upbeat music and an exciting setting of Miami, the experience does an excellent job connecting with the “Aerosoles Girl.”
There are still barriers to making content shoppable. The Content Marketing Institute released a whitepaper declaring resource constraints as the biggest challenge for brands, including a lack of bandwidth and budget. Retailers believe this level of interactive content is too time consuming and expensive to produce regularly. Features like hotspotting, lifestyle images, embedded video, and user-generated content are traditionally viewed as too difficult to create. But for retailers who want to create beautiful customer journeys and streamline their path to purchase, these features are more than worth the investment.
As first published in Retail TouchPoints.